Friday, January 27, 2012

Water and Sanitation Group 1 - Further Reflections

The group added some further thoughts to their post from Jan. 10:

During our reflection session, we decided to present open-ended questions to the group and probe deeper into their responses.  We discussed the first night in the rural homestay, both positives and negatives.  We also conversed about ethical or proper behavior issues such as responding to "too much food."  We ended the open-ended response session with statements from many students about their goals and expectations during their homestay.  We tied up "loose ends" by discussing fears to overcome as part of the experience.  

"Too much food" was a common statement brought up during the session.  The homestay families showered their generosity among the students by providing them with large meals, abundant with all kinds of foods.  Numerous students in the discussion exclaimed that they felt bad for refusing food and that "it was so much."  THe students from Makerere University chimed in, claiming that a cultural rule in Uganda in terms of being a guest was to never refuse food.  They claimed that refusing food was considered downright rude.

Some students in the discussion session expressed fears about surviving the homestay as well as fitting in with the family.  There was a general vibe that the students were still getting used to living in a rural homestay.  A few students from Makerere University shared comments about how hilarious it was for them to watch when JHU students adjust or behave.  The method of "basin showering" was a common cited new experience for many of the JHU students during the rural homestay.

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